HOMEFRONT | décor showcase
Your home’s looking sleek and stylish, but if you add a bouquet or two of fresh flowers, you’ll make a romantic design statement that spans the centuries. Nature’s glory is the ultimate final touch.
Martha DeFlorio Moegelin, co-proprietor of Made Floral inside the Shinola retail store in Detroit’s Midtown, knows this very well. After studying Spanish at the University of New Hampshire, Martha moved to Boston to pursue a graduate degree from the Boston Architectural College and, within a year of living within the city, the Connecticut native found herself working part-time for a floral designer. Little did she know she would fall madly in love with the craft. (With a maiden name like DeFlorio, how could she not?)
“I started working 10 hours a week, helping with weddings — I ended up staying four years,” Martha recalls. Her employer, Orly Khon, of Orly Khon Floral Boutique, was also the in-house florist for Restoration Hardware in Boston, so Martha assimilated all the ins and outs of the business “and got paid while I was learning,” she says. “Orly taught me everything — how to buy, find vendors, meet with clients.”
Martha gained a newfound appreciation for how plants and florals interact with interior design. With this knowledge, she branched out in her quest for education about flowers and decorative plants, with the idea that someday she would own her own shop — she already had useful retail and merchandising experience, having worked after school in her parents’ small grocery store in Connecticut.
By that time, she had met her future husband, Northville native Michael Moegelin, a BAC classmate. He, too, found himself on a different path, pursuing an MBA from Northeastern University in Boston.
The couple moved to Michigan in 2014 after a job opportunity for Michael arose in marketing and branding, and today they’re the creative duo behind a growing, full-service floral design company in one of the hottest business hubs in metro Detroit.
“We’re here all the time,” Martha says. “It’s like a neighborhood shop.” Martha focuses on all floral design work and is the face of the business, while Michael does “whatever she doesn’t want to do,” he says, including providing support for her business as well as capturing her work through photos and videos. The two work together on uncommon design tasks, such as conceiving and building an overhead steel structure to hang over the head table at an Eastern Market wedding where Martha was asked to make flowers “rain” over the table.
Luxury watch-and bicycle-maker Shinola asked Martha to create a pop-up Mother’s Day flower shop in May 2014 that was supposed to last a month. A month turned into a year, and then another, and she since has created a following of regulars who stop in for their weekly hit of her sensual bouquets, door wreaths, potted plants, and buds — procured mostly locally when available.
Martha loves using opposing colors — such as pink and light blue — in the same bouquets, and she hand-picks all of her blooms. Her staples are delphinium, roses, and ranunculus in antique colors like porcelain pink. She carries 12 to 15 varieties of fresh flowers and about eight types of potted plants. “I always do small batches — there’s so much waste in the flower business,” she explains. Her stunning bouquets can last up to two weeks if the water is changed every couple of days, you make sure the vase stays clean, and you trim the stem ends diagonally in between.
The Moegelins recently bought a 1927 brick Colonial that they adore in Detroit’s East English Village. As soon as the weather allows, watch for blooms from their own garden to sprout up at their shop!
Made Floral is at 441 W. Canfield, Detroit, inside Shinola. For more information, visit: madefloral.com.
Put it on the Calendar
MADE FLORAL IS HOSTING a workshop on April 21 from 3-5 p.m. at which participants will learn the fine art of Spring Wreath-Making. Reserve a spot to learn about everything from wiring flowers to working with moss. Call 248-345-8518 or email the shop at email@example.com.
A profusion of some of Martha’s favorite pink posies.
A wreath similar to those that
The Moegelins are in the spring of things.